UNHEALTHY DIET–BY FAR THE LEADING CAUSE OF EARLY DEATH & DISABILITY IN THE WORLD:
1. Even before COVID-19 (See IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE below) unhealthy diet with too much meat, animal products, salt, sugar, processed and “fast” foods, and not enough plant-based foods, was the leading cause of early death and disability in the world.
2. The Lancet Commission: “Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined.” (And this was before COVID-19)
3. “About one-half of U.S. adults have diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes” (U.S. HHS & U.S. Dept of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. 2015.)
4. Tragically, unhealthy diet has now resulted in long-term suffering for our children as well. For example, in the US “Type 2” diabetes used to be called “Adult Onset” diabetes. However because of unhealthy eating habits this devastating disease is now also occurring in our children. So in spite of all our medical advances and trillions in healthcare costs, the US Surgeon General reports that we may see “the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents”
5. Unfortunately, people world-wide have adopted our “developed” countries’ lifestyles. These global changes in diet have become the leading causes of WHO’s three “Slow Motion Disasters” of 1.Non-Communicable Diseases 2.Climate Change and 3.Antibiotic Resistance.
6. For example, The Lancet reports “Civilization is in crisis… intensive meat production is on an unstoppable trajectory comprising the single greatest contributor to climate change.”
7. Over 80% of U.S. antibiotics are used on factory farms to prevent infections due to living in filth, stress and overcrowding. Although this feared world-wide epidemic has not yet occurred, CDC reports “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time-Each year in the US, at least 2.8 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection & more than 35,000 people die.”
8. And now, in addition, we face the increasing frequency of global pandemics of COVID-19, SARS, Bird & Swine Flu, Ebola and other zoonoses due to wet markets, factory farms and our excessive use of animals for food.
9. COVID-19 as bad as it is, is only a CDC category 2-3, and scientists fear our future pandemics may be even worse.
10. The UN (Preventing the next pandemic-Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission) reports: “COVID-19 is one of the worst zoonotic diseases, but it is not the first…75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic… The drivers of this trend–including climate change and increased demand for meat–are on the rise.”
THE GOOD NEWS IS: THIS IS ALL PREVENTABLE!!
See the following UN, WHO and U.S. HHS evidence-based resources:
I. IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE / PREVENTION OF PANDEMICS & SLOW MOTION DISASTERS (Five Scientific Evidence-Based Blessings of Plant-Based Eating) Two page handout in several languages with numerous additional UN, WHO and U.S. HHS scientific references.
II. HEPFDC NUTRITION EDUCATION See Illustration 38 A & Illustration 38B and the corresponding HEPFDC Handbook lessons for WHO guidelines in all available languages on the DOWNLOAD FREE page.
The Importance of B12 Supplements: The only downside we have been able to find to a strict vegetarian diet, especially those that include much processed, fast and other “junk foods.” This is also very important for all people over the age of 50, regardless of their type of diet. As reported in Lesson 38B:
“B12 deficiency can present with many different symptoms and has several different causes. The CDC reports that it is often undiagnosed and untreated, especially in the elderly.
–Although most cases of deficiency occur in people over 50, many others, such as those on a strict vegetarian diet, are also at increased risk.
–This is especially important where water has been treated to destroy bacteria (All B12 originates from bacteria which are destroyed along with deadly bacteria by safe water treatments).
Note: Animals get their B12 from untreated sources, which unfortunately, are also among the causes of deadly zoonosis (diseases transmitted from animals to people).
–As remaining natural sources of B12 are often not well absorbed, especially in the elderly, the CDC recommends that all adults over 50 years take a vitamin supplement or fortified food source of B12. For the elderly, much higher doses than are found in multivitamins (for example, 1000 micrograms cobalamin/day) are often recommended.
–Depending on your diet and the specific foods available locally, additional supplements may be needed. Ask your doctor or Ministry of Health for supplement recommendations for your area.
–If your vitamin or other dietary supplements are made in the US, to ensure quality and safety, it is important that the label always include a “USP”, “CL” or “NSF” certification logo (See Lesson 28).”
III. ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE-BASED RESOURCES–LIFESTYLE MEDICINE (The most rapidly growing field in US and global medicine)–ALL are now promoting a Biblical Lifestyle and Whole-Food Plant-Based Eating.
A. Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA)
B. American College of Lifestyle Medicine guidelines: See especially: Nutrition, Whole-Food Plant-Based, and Whole-Food Plant-Based for Children
C. American Medical Association / Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology Partnership See especially: Resources for the Public Resources for Health Professionals
D. Culinary Heart Disease Video 2020 (Includes Amer. College of Cardiology & Amer. Heart Assoc. Guidelines)
E. What Diet Should Physicians Recommend? Video Nutritionfacts.org
Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
Plant-Based Eating-Eat healthy, live better (A community service from Kaiser Permanente)
F. Lean & Green Kids Website for children and teenagers based on above evidence-based guidelines.
G. Best Practices in Global Health Missions website for numerous additional evidence-based Standards & Guidelines.
Nutrition page includes the original studies on Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition: Missionary researchers Burkitt & Trowell who worked with the WHO and (though little known in the US except for Burkitt’s Lymphoma) are recognized “Founders of Modern Nutrition.” Their work in the 1960s continues to be re-confirmed: The association between dietary fibre deficiency and high-income lifestyle-associated diseases: Burkitt’s hypothesis revisited The Lancet Dec 2019
For a pdf version of this web page: Prevention of Pandemics & Slow Motion Disasters